Hearing aids and glasses might seem like oil and water, but is there a means to get these two very important items to play nice? If you are looking at a behind-the-ear (BTE) device, this common question is even more pertinent. People often ask whether they can work together comfortably. The answer is yes.
There are a few things, for those people who wear glasses, to think about before they buy new hearing aids, though. Use these tips to make sure your hearing aids and glasses work well together.
There Are Several Styles of Hearing Aids That May Work For Your Situation
There are quite a few things, in general, to think about when purchasing new hearing aids. Size, shape, and style are all personalizations that are available. If you like fancy colors, you can get that also. The point is, the time of wearing hearing aids like your grandpa did is gone.
Understanding exactly what type of hearing aids are on the market is the way to start the process. They divide into three basic categories:
- Behind-the-ear (BTE) – This is an older style of hearing aid, but today’s version of this technology is much more advanced. With this model, the main section of the device sits right behind the ear with clear tubing that connects to an earmold sitting in the opening of the ear canal. Open-fit versions are pretty much the same setup but without the earmold.
- In-the-canal (ITC) – This style is very much like the ITE version but it sits deeper inside the ear, making them virtually invisible.
- In-the-ear (ITE) – As the name implies, this style of hearing aid fits directly into the opening of the ear canal and has nothing sitting behind the ear.
There are good and bad points to each style, but if you wear glasses, ITE and ITC hearing aids will save you from a lot of issues. You can compare the many features of a new hearing aid, but first, you need to decide on a style.
Learning About The Different Features
When purchasing, it’s the features that should be your primary concern not the shape of the hearing aid. Advancing hearing aid technology is causing features to change all of the time. Some common ones to look for include:
- T-coil – This function allows you to hear better while talking on a land-line phone. T-coil technology is effective when you are listening to people talk through a speaker like at church or on the radio.
- Noise reduction – Filters out background noise by amplifying one channel to enhance speech.
- Directional microphone – This will help pinpoint the sound you need to hear when you are in a noisy location. For example, if someone is talking to you at a restaurant, you can hear their words clearly in spite of the noise all around you.
Your objective is to find the ideal set of features and functions to fit your lifestyle. At that point, you can make a decision on the style of hearing aid.
Wearing BTE Hearing Aids With Glasses
Glasses and BTE hearing aids absolutely can be worn together. The trick is to wear both of these important accessories correctly, so they fit comfortably. Here are some tips:
- First put on your glasses, then your hearing aid. The position of your glasses arm is more rigid than your hearing aid so it’s harder to adjust. Look in a mirror after positioning the hearing aid so you will know it looks natural and isn’t hanging off your pinna, which is the outer part of the ear.
- Think about the size of the BTE hearing aids before buying. Even though it’s a little bulky, the standard version will still work with glasses. A newer style choice is the mini BTE. The part that fits behind the ear is a lot smaller for increased comfort and to reduce the feedback that you sometimes have with the BTE units. You have to try out both styles to determine which one works best.
- Practice removing your glasses by pulling them forward with both hands instead of up with one. It will take a little time before you get into the habit of taking them off this way. When you forget to use this motion you will knock off your hearing aid and that will reinforce the practice.
The only choice for those that have a real issue wearing a BTE device with glasses would be the ITE or ITC models. If you of your glasses a lot, for instance, BTE devices will be a real hassle. This combination will also be a struggle for people with small ears and for children. If you schedule an appointment with a hearing aid professional you can get a free trial period to find out which style fits your lifestyle. Whether or not you can wear both will be evident after you try them.